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As we are all aware, these two areas in particular have been hit pretty hard from the lack of tourist arrivals.  Many businesses have been closed for quite a while now.

 

My question is, how do you think these areas might change going forward?  Do you think business owners will attempt to just pick up where they left off or will there be a significant turnover to new businesses catering more to Chinese nationals or otherwise?  I still believe Samui and Phuket will do pretty well with Westerners wanting to escape to a warmer climate for brief periods of time, however I really don't think the island will ever see the numbers of the past for the foreseeable future.  I also suspect a significant (and welcome) drop in the Full Moon Party crowd, with no other catalyst other than people choosing to explore other destinations instead while Thailand remains closed.

 

What are your thoughts, Samui patrons?  Any predictions for the future of these two areas?

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1 hour ago, gearbox said:

Some of the public infrastructure like footpaths is slowly degrading,  hopefully they'll find money for it later as very few businesses are paying taxes now.

 

Interesting insight, something that I hadn't considered.  That could potentially affect other areas of Samui beyond Chaweng and Lamai as well.  Outside of infrastructure, I'm very interested to see if there will be any major or notable changes to Central Festival Mall's array of offerings and businesses.  I can only assume the reduced foot traffic is putting the squeeze on businesses having to pay hefty rental fees.  

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3 hours ago, steelerian said:

I was shopping on Central at 11.30am on Thursday last week. my gf and I were the only customers inside the Central Department Store, and I think we saw only 2 other customers in the entire mall.

 

Definitely not sustainable, let's hope things turn around later this year!

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On 5/21/2021 at 10:42 PM, gearbox said:

Some of the public infrastructure like footpaths is slowly degrading,  hopefully they'll find money for it later as very few businesses are paying taxes now.

Other parts of the island are having major investment on infrastructure.

The road from Bophut to Bangrak, Plai Laem, Choengmon and then on to Chaweng is brilliant.

All re-surfaced as far as Choengmon, with pavements and even street lights in most place.

The bad news is that the kids now use it as a race track for their bikes in the evenings.

 

(When I first came to Samui, Bangrak to Chaweng via Choengmon was just a dirt track!)

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I can´t wait to see the outcry in all samui forums, when chaweng beachroad will be back to semi-normal, and thousands of tourists will permanently jump up and down and up from the footpath into the slowly crawling traffic jam, because of the hundred newly installed electro boxes, making it impossible to properly use the footpath anymore.

It will be a sight to behold 🙂

(or they are planing a car-free beachroad anyway, who knows . . )

 

 

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9 hours ago, starfish said:

I can´t wait to see the outcry in all samui forums, when chaweng beachroad will be back to semi-normal, and thousands of tourists will permanently jump up and down and up from the footpath into the slowly crawling traffic jam, because of the hundred newly installed electro boxes, making it impossible to properly use the footpath anymore.

 

Pretty sure the Chinese just walk in the road unaware of the surroundings around them anyways 🤣

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8 minutes ago, corkman said:

Tourstis want and expect tuk tuk's, cheap massages and knock off goods, cheap seafood and a rustic experience that is "cheap" compared to their home countries. They want quaint, thatched huts serving cocktails at sunset. 

 

Do we think that is true anymore?  Or has Instagram friendly travel become the way forward for these businesses?  It seems the only places really thriving lately are those with a trendy atmosphere, beautiful food presentation, and a seaside backdrop (at least in Pattaya).  I'm not sure backpackers will ever be the target market for any place going forward into the future.  It seems those days have sunset right along with the cheap prices that used to fuel young people to travel to Thailand.

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7 hours ago, gearbox said:

 

I don't know where you are at the moment, but there are no places thriving in Samui, including the places catering for Thais. Most are barely surviving. 

When I came in Feb, I noticed a string of new Thai restaurants which have opened near the Success gym. I commented to my gf that the things must be getting better for new restaurants to come in play. She said "they are getting 3 months of free rent, they opened to see how it would go".  The three months free rent are gone and most of them are closed now.

I know one restaurant which is known to be owned by someone with lots of connections in Bangkok, it was full most of the time in Songkran, but completely empty since then.

One daily flight from Bangkok is not a volume of customers which could make any difference.

In Bangkok at the moment. I've been to Samui 3 times relatively recently. 2 weeks at Xmas / New year, 2 weeks late Feb., and 2 weeks for Songkran. 

I agree. "Thriving" is a bit of an exaggeration. During my visits there was a reasonable crowd at W, Jungle Club, Seen, The Cliff, CoCo's, etc. Enough people to make it worth their while opening. Very few foreigners though. Mostly well heeled Thai's. A couple of years ago, the most of the THai's at these places would be a lady on the arm of a foreigner. 

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16 minutes ago, Trujillo said:

"...hundred newly installed electro boxes,..."

 

 What is an "electro box"?

 

Think he might be talking about power boxes / electrical transformers along the sides of the roads.

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6 hours ago, khunPer said:

Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach will come back alive when the pandemic is under control, but the already ongoing changes from old era towards a new time will just happen little more rapid than it would without the C-19 pandemic...🙂

 

Very solid perspective KhunPer.  I think the pandemic will just hasten the whole process of transformation.  The era of the Westerner in Thailand most certainly seemed to have peaked around the 2012-2014 range.  I asked my Thai wife what she thought would happen, she thinks that it will just cater more towards Chinese and (less so) other Asian travelers with Instagram friendly resorts, restaurants, cafes, and most importantly - a shift towards larger villas instead of hotel rooms.

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There seems to be a lot of land clearing on the hills behind the ring road from Chaweng to Bophut.

Looks like burning off the brush for making access roads up the hills. Probably for building villas. Can see quite a few red dirt roads up there now. So maybe people still investing in holiday homes or moving to the island.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Trujillo said:

"...hundred newly installed electro boxes,..."

 

 What is an "electro box"?

"Electro box" is probably these fine transformers on the beach road in Chaweng, the photo is from before the took the hanging wires down – enjoy them here for a last time, they are good-old-days now – and painted a nice Samui-landscape on the "electro box"...

wIMG20200827172511_Central.jpg.6b3b5d12d4eccb79d9075f0e70aba4c6.jpg

 

"Electro box" comes if different varieties, so you can always find one you prefers, and also in different sizes, which makes the sidewalk walks more amazing – wow, look at those good-old-time wires at left, we gotta miss them...

wIMG20200827171549_Transfor.jpg.1ea0b2a8eb38e7546b28d7cf9505f963.jpg

 

-especially during Covid-lockdown, as the street lights also disappeared together with the posts for the hanging wires – this night-time photo is from april 2021 – and be aware when heading home after a night in the town and wet after party, it's not the beach you are reaching, it's a landscaped "electro box"...😉

wIMG20210402000229_Chaweng-beachroad-north.jpg.ab58462645c8cfac6f9bbd6bf9f1de91.jpg

Edited by khunPer
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On 5/30/2021 at 12:56 AM, khunPer said:

"Electro box" is probably these fine transformers on the beach road in Chaweng, the photo is from before the took the hanging wires down – enjoy them here for a last time, they are good-old-days now – and painted a nice Samui-landscape on the "electro box"...

wIMG20200827172511_Central.jpg.6b3b5d12d4eccb79d9075f0e70aba4c6.jpg

 

"Electro box" comes if different varieties, so you can always find one you prefers, and also in different sizes, which makes the sidewalk walks more amazing – wow, look at those good-old-time wires at left, we gotta miss them...

wIMG20200827171549_Transfor.jpg.1ea0b2a8eb38e7546b28d7cf9505f963.jpg

 

-especially during Covid-lockdown, as the street lights also disappeared together with the posts for the hanging wires – this night-time photo is from april 2021 – and be aware when heading home after a night in the town and wet after party, it's not the beach you are reaching, it's a landscaped "electro box"...😉

wIMG20210402000229_Chaweng-beachroad-north.jpg.ab58462645c8cfac6f9bbd6bf9f1de91.jpg

 

 

 

Yes, those are, what i meant with "electro boxes". As they seem to cause some confusion about what they really are for, i´ll tell you the ingenious plan behind placing them where they are now:

You all know, that the TAT is famous for their innovative, ultra-realistic ideas for reviving tourism. So they said, let´s make Chaweng future-proof and install "electric car charging docks" in front of every major business there. This goes in line with their wish to only attract "quality" tourists in the future, who will drive down beachroad in a Tesla, and while they spend their quality millions in quality shops and restaurants, they will charge the batteries of their electric cars on those boxes.

Ingenious, right? Think about it, we will be the hub of hubs of electric car charging docks.

And forget about those pesky pedestrians. Well, to make them happy too, the "electro boxes" will have multiple USB charging sockets, so the chinese can charge their smartphones when navigating the footpath with google-maps, without going offline . . .

So, there you have it. All well thought out by TAT, as always.

🙂

 

 

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On 5/30/2021 at 3:56 AM, khunPer said:

"Electro box" is probably these fine transformers on the beach road in Chaweng, the photo is from before the took the hanging wires down – enjoy them here for a last time, they are good-old-days now – and painted a nice Samui-landscape on the "electro box"...

wIMG20200827172511_Central.jpg.6b3b5d12d4eccb79d9075f0e70aba4c6.jpg

 

"Electro box" comes if different varieties, so you can always find one you prefers, and also in different sizes, which makes the sidewalk walks more amazing – wow, look at those good-old-time wires at left, we gotta miss them...

wIMG20200827171549_Transfor.jpg.1ea0b2a8eb38e7546b28d7cf9505f963.jpg

 

-especially during Covid-lockdown, as the street lights also disappeared together with the posts for the hanging wires – this night-time photo is from april 2021 – and be aware when heading home after a night in the town and wet after party, it's not the beach you are reaching, it's a landscaped "electro box"...😉

wIMG20210402000229_Chaweng-beachroad-north.jpg.ab58462645c8cfac6f9bbd6bf9f1de91.jpg

Haha 

no street lights now either. I’m sure there are concrete plans afoot to replace them. 😉

Hard to tell but looks like the big box has just been plonked down right in front of someone’s shop or business? Or maybe former shop or business 😞 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Swimfan said:

Hard to tell but looks like the big box has just been plonked down right in front of someone’s shop or business?

I've seen similar pictures from another place, I think it was Pattaya.

Probably the same contractor as in Samui...

It is however difficult to find a place for a huge transformer (which substitutes lots of smaller transformers previously up on poles) if it had not been planned for before the land was occupied by buildings.

Edited by lom
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